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Dive Review of Dive Center Thalassa/Hotel Santika in

October, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by James T. McKnight, MA, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 3695
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Truk Lagoon, Bikini Atoll, Thailand, NC, Lake Ontario, Caymens, Florida
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Try to keep dives to about 1 hour & no gloves  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
There was no camera table and the boats were crowed, but no serious
problems.  An AC room is provided at the dive certer for photo equipment.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
The hotel is a comfortable and clean facility with pool, spa etc..  The
service and food were good, but english was very limited.  The hotel
accepts credit cards, but had some trouble with American Express.  Make
sure you arrange in advance if you want to use AmEx. The dive center is on
the grounds of the hotel and is able to efficiently service a large number
of divers.  We made 8 dives in three days.  Dive sites included Bunaken,
Bangka Island (90 minutes north) and sites near Thalassa.  The nearby dives
had 8 divers on board while the northern trip ($20 extra) had 6 divers. 
There was one divemaster per 4 divers.  All dives were drift dives with
some strong currents and surges.  Picture taking was dicey in the strong
currents.  The northern dives had wicked currents.  The walls offered
beautiful soft/hard corals plus tons of tropical fish, but nothing big.

My only negative comment concerns the boats.  The first boat was a local
hire and not from the dive center.  It didn't have a head and was a bit
crowded with 8 divers and camera gear.  The second should have been
comfortable, but had a fuel system problem which resulted in strong
gasoline fumes.  Even the divemasters complained.  The third was the
"speedboat" which had no head & was overcrowded, but the trip
was short.

Overall Santika/Thalassa is a good value and offers a nice experience for
non-divers.  The more hard core UWPs will prefer Lambeth Strait.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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